Explore the rich wonders of the forest and all it can teach us.
As with the Bear Creek Nature Center and the Fountain Creek Nature Center, the new Fox Run Nature Center will function as an educational and interpretive center, this time focusing on the Black Forest and its ponderosa forests. The visitor’s experience will be one that balances the engaging indoor interpretations that reveal the adjacent natural setting of the forest with expanding their understanding and care for the quality of the forest and ecosystem beyond. A versatile media room will be available to the public for gatherings of all kinds, from lectures and meetings to parties. The Nature Center, nestled in the forest topography, will be the hub for interpretive trails of various lengths that are interconnected with the existing park trail system.
The Fox Run Nature Center is an investment in future generations to inspire and create stewards of nature in the Pikes Peak Region.
The Fox Fun Nature Center will ‘grow’ from the unique setting and distinctive character of the black forest by integrating the site, building, and exhibits into one holistic experience that celebrates the natural environment and fosters stewardship of the land while connecting people from all walks of life.
Our strategy is to ensure that the Fox Run Nature Center is welcoming and open to all, universally accessible, and its programs reflect the many different historical and cultural influences that shape our connection to the natural world.
Core El Paso County Project Team
- Todd Marts, Director, Parks and Community Services
- Brain Bobeck, Park Operations Division Manager
- Theresa Odello, Recreation and Cultural Services Division Manager
- Jason Meyer, Parks Planning Division Manager
- Dana Nordstrom, Community Outreach Coordinator
Project Design Team
Recreational Integrity Goals
Fox Run Nature Center (FRNC) design elements will ensure the facility and surrounding grounds are accessible to a diverse audience including those with disabilities.
FRNC will strive to ensure that its staff, volunteers, visitors, participants, and all others involved with the organization reflect the community we serve.
FRNC will work consistently to create an inclusive culture and promote universal access to facilities, programs, and other opportunities, by actively inviting, engaging, and collaborating with people from all walks of life.
FRNC will celebrate and recognize the unique contributions of all people, and provide opportunities for shared learning, growth and understanding.
FRNC will protect our natural and cultural resources that tell our history and promote a more sustainable future.
As with any great project, El Paso County’s vision for the Fox Run Nature Center started years before with the inclusion of a Northern Nature Center in the El Paso County Master Plan in 2013. Their commitment to the project continued through the years and became more than a mirage with the completion of the Northern Nature Center Feasibility Study in 2019 followed closely by the Northern El Paso County Nature Center Interpretive Master Plan in 2020. Since then, the County has engaged a team of designers, architects, and engineers to make their vision a reality.
In 2023, the County launched the Fox Run Nature Center Design Project. Work began in earnest by holding two workshops with County staff to identify and focus the vision for the interpretive nature of the center as well as their programmatic requirements for the building. The County and Design Team then walked the site several times to determine the best location for the new center, one that balanced the proximity and separation to the park amenities, trails, utilities and forest diversity.
Concept development included the development of three design alternatives for County staff review. The Design Team took that feedback and developed one concept to move forward with towards 30% design which was delivered in Fall, 2023. These design efforts continue into 2024 with 60% design plans due in spring with final plans due in summer. Upon completion of the final plans, the project will move into a regulatory approval and permitting stage. Construction is planned to commence in 2025.
El Paso County is garnering public input through a multi-faceted approach. This includes websites, social media postings, flyers, signs, media releases, public meetings, attendance at community events. These efforts were launched in 2023 and will continue throughout the duration of the project. In 2023, the county participated in over 20 community events including hosting public meeting #1 on May 10, 2023, to present the concept plan and received community feedback. Participation in community events is ongoing. Please view the event calendar for upcoming opportunities including open house #2 on March 14, 2024.